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20% of nurses may abuse substances

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As many as 20% of nurses may have substance abuse problems, claim US researchers.

The key to tackling substance abuse, they say, is support and treatment, not punishment.

A review looking at a range of research and guidelines on the issue, concluded “alternative-to-dismissal” support was more beneficial than normal disciplinary procedures.

They said: “ATD programmes appear to be the best way to…retain nurses at a time when the profession is facing serious shortages of experienced professionals.”

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